Press Release

Institut Pasteur Korea hosted its first global symposium on climate change and emergence of infectious diseases


Pangyo, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea, June 2, 2015 - Institut Pasteur Korea successfully held its first Global Symposium on Climate Change and Emergence of Infectious Diseases on May 28-29, 2015.


The primary goal of this two day symposium was to examine current strategies for preparation and response to climate change as it impacts emerging infectious diseases. The symposium provided opportunities for scientists to exchange current research findings on international infectious diseases, as well as to develop a new vision for future preparedness for their community.  Approximately 150 participants attended the symposium including Korean government officials and academicians in the infectious disease field.


On this special occasion, Mr. Dong Hwa Lee, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Gyeonggi Provincial Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Dr. Yong-Bog Chae, the former Chairman of Institut Pasteur Korea, and Dr. Uhtaek Oh, current Chairman of Institut Pasteur Korea were invited as honored guests to deliver congratulatory remarks.


The first session included talks from Prof. Gerald Parker, the Vice President of Texas A&M Health Science Center in USA, Prof. Quynh Mai Le, the Vice Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Vietnam, and Dr. Toby Merlin, Director at The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, USA. They discussed various topics, including the cause and effect of Ebola outbreaks worldwide, the front line response against Ebola in Texas, preparedness to avian influenza for humans in Southeast Asia since late 2003, the vaccination of poultry, and the importance of international monitoring systems for infectious diseases.


The second session included talks from Dr. Laurent Renia, the Executive Director of Singapore Immunology Network, and Dr. Dolores Fernandez-Garcia, Senior Scientist of Institut Pasteur of Dakar, Senegal, and Dr. Thomas Hoenen, Research Fellow of National Institutes of Health, USA. They presented on the importance of international networks to exchange ideas and to understand on-going research on emerging infectious diseases worldwide.


The final session included Prof. Linfa Wang, the Director of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School of Singapore, Prof. Osamu Kobayashi, the Professor of Kyorin University in Japan, and Dr. Chris Mok, Research Assistant Professor of HKU-Pasteur Research Pole in Hong Kong. They presented their latest research on intermediate hosts and therapeutics.


The meeting organizer and Head of the Respiratory Viruses Research Laboratory at Institut Pasteur Korea, Dr. Ji-Young Min, said Institut Pasteur Korea can be a bridge to exchanging research results internationally in the field infectious disease.

Dr. Hakim Djaballah, CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea, commented “Though we are pleased with our ability to gather world experts in Pangyo to discuss these two critical topics - already on many government agendas, we are saddened by the MERS events which have been unfolding here in Korea; and clearly reiterate that viruses know no boundaries and justify why our institute's main research focus is on infectious diseases with one group dedicated to respiratory viruses“.